PICTORIALISM IN OLD JAPAN
NOTE : A few MEIJI-ERA IMAGES are here as well.

Although I have a website devoted to the Meiji-Taisho work of T. ENAMI at www.t-enami,org/, there are a lot of other fine photographers of old Japan who we know nothing about.

I have posted many other series and groups that were not by Enami, as well as examples of SALT PRINTS, where the process of making the print was the focus, rather than the photographers themselves.

The "Art Images" posted in this set are only some of many examples of a largely ignored facet of Old Japanese Photography -- a genre called "TAISHO ART" or "TAISHO PICTORIAL PHOTOGRAPHY".

Some of the finest pictorial work done in Japan was in the realm of portraiture, and such images are usually the ones chosen to illustrate this aspect of Japanese photography in books devoted to the subject. To add balance to the whole, my Flickr set is largely a display of the lesser-seen landscape genre.

The pictorialism movement in Japan reached its peak during the reign of EMPEROR TAISHO (1912-26), thus the name attached to the genre. These are the photographs the buying public and tourists cared for the least. They sold in fewest numbers, had the fewest fans, and even now can be found as "left overs" at the bottom of the boxes at Old Photo, Ephemera, and Post Card shows held in North America and Europe.

The reason for this lack of interest is that 99% of Japan Photo collectors go mainly for the Geisha, Street Scenes, Occupationals, and Studio Views....and at least here on flickr, go mainly for anything that shows the slightest hint of a female breast popping out of her Kimono.

I have honored those Babes and Boobs in another flickr set by that name. ;-)

In any case, with some exceptions, most all of the images in this set were the "throw-aways" I've found at the bottom of FOR SALE boxes during 30 years of collecting --- after all else had been "Cherry Picked" for Geisha, Boobs, and other "Tourist Scenes" of Japan.

I hope a few of you flickr folks who like the 'Art" aspect of photography will like some of these....all of them manipulated in camera and darkroom by anonymous Japanese photographers of 80 to 100 years ago -- who had neither the money nor means to publish them widely, and had to settle for meager runs of multi-hued collotypes....that few people really appreciated or wanted in the end.

I dedicate these slots on flickr to those lost, nameless souls of Japan whose eyes and cameras saw something more meaningful in the darkness and fog -- and in the patterns of nature and life. I hope you find some as moving or inspiring as I have.
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